There’s no question that when it comes to music singles, K-POP, or Korean pop music, reigns supreme. The moment any of the groups within the K-POP machine drops a song, records will undoubtedly be broken. Case in point: for a brief time, South Korean groups BTS and BLACKPINK were the year’s major players, dominating the YouTube charts just hours after their release. Up until a few days ago, BTS held the record for most YouTube views on their song “IDOL” within the first 24 hours (since beaten by Ariana Grande’s “thank you, next”).
Though it’s heartwarming to know that most of the world is listening to music by Asian musicians, the unintended side-effect is the lumping of all Asian musicians into that same category–that of the pristine, high-budget, highly-choreographed K-POP video. The reality is, Asian/Anglo-Asian music exists in many forms, and it can be hard to separate that general viewpoint from the reality when that’s all that hundreds of millions of people know. Whenever I talk to people about the site, I can’t tell you how many times the conversation starts with the other person asking, “so–have you heard of BTS?” And the answer to that is always, “Yes, yes I have.”
But the real question is this: Have you heard of any of these other great songs released in 2018?
Rules of the list:
- Any Asian/Anglo-Asian releases are eligible if it was released within Oct. 2017-Nov. 2018.
- Songs NOT in English were considered for inclusion.
- Songs that are part of albums in our Albums of the Year list were excluded (with a few exceptions)
- This list is in alphabetical order, by artist.
Before you proceed, check out this nifty little video that gives you a taste of what’s to come!
Li-Wei Chu is a recent graduate from UC Davis who majored in Cinema and Digital Media who also briefly studied film at Queen Mary, University of London. Li-Wei is obsessed with horror films (especially the ones that give him nightmares), films from East Asia, and really, any film that makes you stop and think.
He loves talking about film and indie music with others. He’s also a record collector and cross-stitches when he has free time. In the future, he hopes to be able to write about film and wants to find a job in the film industry that can support his record buying habits. Maybe one day he’ll also be able to play the guitar.